B. Overview of Jury Service
1. Receipt of a Summons
2. Statutory Disqualifications
3. Students and Jury Duty
4. Compensation for Jury Service
5. Failure to Report
C. Trial Court Departments with Jury Sessions
D. Day of Jury Service
1. Juror Orientation
3. Juror's Role During Trial
4. Deliberation and Verdict
5. Certificate of Service
E. Inclusion of Minorities and Women
1. African-American Jurors
2. Women Jurors
The Massachusetts Jury System
Citizens of the Commonwealth are entrusted with the privilege and the responsibility of serving as jurors. The right to a trial by jury before one's peers is guaranteed by the Massachusetts State Constitution of 1780, the United States Constitution of 1787, and the Sixth and Seventh Amendments of the Bill of Rights to the United States Constitution.
Under our state jury system all eligible citizens must report for juror service. People from all walks of life sit on juries. Office workers, farmers, teachers, students, judges, homemakers, retirees: everyone participates.
Jurors who report at the nearly 60 jury courts in the Commonwealth serve for one day or, if impaneled, for the length of one trial. According to statistics from the Office of Jury Commissioner, more than 90 percent of those who report complete their obligation in one day; 95 percent are finished in three days or fewer. Upon completion of juror service, citizens are disqualified from jury service for three years.
When all eligible citizens participate in jury duty, they guarantee the fundamental right to a fair trial to all those who appear before the court. The jury trial is a crucial element of our freedom, a cornerstone of our democracy. The great majority of jurors who are impaneled on a jury find it to be a fascinating and empowering experience. Please serve with pride when called.